Montgomery, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday that Alabama’s interim seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.8% for December, up slightly from November’s 2.7% rate and well below the December 2021 rate of 3.1 %. The December rate represents 63,412 unemployed, compared to 63,004 in November and 69,434 in December 2021.
The number of people in employment rose by 56,418 to 2,229,259 over the course of the year.
“As we finalize our 2022 economic coverage, I am pleased to say that Alabama has recovered well from the pandemic and has maintained positive momentum throughout the year,” Gov. Ivey said. “We broke records all year reminding everyone that Alabama is the best place to live, work and start a business. Our wages have risen, jobs are plentiful and growing, and we are seeing some of the highest employment numbers in key sectors in more than a decade. I couldn’t be prouder of the progress we’ve made.”
During the year, wage and salary employment grew by 55,900 to 2,120,500, a new record high, with gains in the education and health services sectors (+15,400), professional and business services (+12,700) and the public sector (+8,600), among other things.
Payroll employment rose 300 in December. Monthly increases included trade, transport and utilities (+3,100), government (+1,100) and construction (+500) sectors.
“Our economy supports more jobs than ever before, adding nearly 56,000 jobs since last year,” said Alabama Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington. “This translates to job growth of 2.7% for the year, which, barring the immediate recovery from the pandemic, is one of the highest job growth rates in more than 20 years. We also have record employment in trade, transportation and utilities, and since 2008 more people are working in manufacturing and construction.”
The trade, transport and utilities sector has a record number of 411,700 employees. Manufacturing is at its highest level since December 2008, employing 272,900 people, while construction is at its highest level since November 2008, employing 104,900 people.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 1.5%, Cullman County at 1.6%, and Morgan and Marshall Counties at 1.7%. The counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 9.1%, Clarke County at 6.6% and Dallas County at 5.3%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills and Homewood at 1.3%, Trussville, Madison, Hoover and Alabaster at 1.4%, and Athens and Northport at 1.7%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.3%, Prichard at 5.2% and Bessemer at 3.5%.
“Seasonally adjusted” refers to the BLS’s practice of anticipating certain trends in the labor force, such as B. hiring during vacations or the surge in the labor force as students graduate in the spring, and transferring their impact to the civilian labor force.
The Current Population (CPS) or Household Survey is conducted by the Census Bureau and identifies the members of the labor force and measures how many people are working or looking for work.
The Business Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, surveys employers to measure how many jobs are in the economy. This is also known as wage and salary work.